New study on the characteristics of the cryptomarket “AlphaBay” and on its role in drugs distribution

Mar 02, 2018

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New study on the characteristics of the cryptomarket “AlphaBay” and on its role in drugs distribution

In the paper a systematic measurement analysis

of structures

and trends on the cryptomarket

“AlphaBay” is provided. By a long-term monitoring (from September 2015 to August 2016) 2188 unique vendors offering 11.925 drug items were founded. Main results from the analysis suggest that:

1) Total sales volumes for the ‘drugs’ section was estimated at approximately USD 94 million for the period from September 2015 to August 2016.

2) About 64% of all sales are made with cocaine-, cannabis-, heroin-, and ecstasy-related products.

3) Average selling prices increase over time for categories including cannabis and hashish, ecstasy, opioids, psychedelics and stimulants.

4) The five most frequent countries of origin as indicated by vendors are the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands and Germany. Moreover, it was demonstrated that drug distribution on cryptomarkets is conducted at a regional rather than global level.

5) Furthermore, 4.88% of vendors made over USD 200,000 and were responsible for 52.9% of total revenues generated over the period analysed. In contrast, 57.51% of vendors managed to sell drug items worth less than USD 10,000 within a period of twelve months”.

Meropi Tzanetakis (2018), Comparing cryptomarkets for drugs. A characterisation of sellers and buyers over time, International Journal of Drug Policy, article in press, pp. 11

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